Post production process for “The Toothbrush”

Click here to watch the short.

For this short sketch, I shot on the Sony A7R2 in its slog-2 profile using vintage Nikon photography lenses. I graded the footage in DaVinci Resolve. Having shot 90% of my creative projects using raw r3d files from different types of RED cameras, I’m most comfortable and highly prefer using RedLogFilm(which is based on cineon) and thus a log coloring workflow. This workflow allows me full creative control over the image and its how I achieve an organic look to the way colors and gradients are reproduced.

The following stills show the Sony slog-2 footage on the right and my best attempt at grading it using Adobe Premiere’s Lumetri Color on the left. Mostly relying on vibrance and midtone color correction to adjust colors and curves for contrast. I did this in the editing process just so that the people we were showing the short to didn’t have to look at a flat image. Regardless of this, the colors lack nuance, this is most troublesome in the skin tones which with simple color correction look simply dead. Once picture locked, I removed the Lumetri effect and colored inside DaVinci Resolve.

Lumetri Color Rushes

Skin tones lack vibrancy and tonality.
The highlights on the metal faucet and the shadows on the frame/bag clip too quickly(left.) The added contrast brings out too much of the blue channel(right.)

Camera Profiling

I worked with my friends at TrueColor to profile the Sony A7R2 and they used those samples to match Sony’s sLog-2 to Cineon. This allowed me to have full control of the grade and assured that colors wouldn’t break down when pushed out.

We also profiled my Nikon D500 which I used for pickups in the film. Having both cameras matched to cineon makes for an extremely reliable, simple approach to matching the two cameras.

Final DaVinci Resolve Grade

With the Cineon color in place. I was able to easily achieve rich skin tones, highlights rolled off smoothly, shadows crushed cleanly and colors reproduce vividly.

I’m not paid to promote TrueColor in any way, but the color science, high standards and quality of their product/service is something that every filmmaker should be aware of. Check out their educational videos and free LUTs!

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